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February 21, 2024 | Inequality In 9 Charts And One Amusing Image

John Rubino is a former Wall Street financial analyst and author or co-author of five books, including The Money Bubble: What to Do Before It Pops and Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom. He founded the popular financial website in 2004, sold it in 2022, and now publishes John Rubino’s Substack newsletter.

Graphs and charts showing America’s fatal case of financial inequality have become almost a separate art form:

What Happens Now?

Is railing against inequality just envy on the part of the less successful? Or is there a fundamental, functional reason that a society can’t be comprised of a handful of super-rich and a vast herd of impoverished debt slaves?

Obviously, it’s the latter. For the 99% to vote for free markets and limited government — rather than immediate expropriation of rich people’s assets — two things have to be present:

  1. Upward mobility, i.e., the expectation that working hard and playing by the rules results in movement up the economic ladder.
  1. A belief that those who make it big earned their outsize success rather than cheating or stealing their way to the top.

When both of these things are generally seen as true, a certain amount of inequality is accepted as the cost of a fair and prosperous system. But once theft becomes the main pathway to success, it’s French Revolution time.

The above charts imply that we’ve entered a time of evaporating trust and emerging chaos. The next image shows the likely result:




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February 21st, 2024

Posted In: John Rubino Substack

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